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LOST – The Constant

Tonight was another great show. This whole season has been jam packed with details and plot twists upon plot twists. Tonight’s show was particularly fast paced even though the story centered mostly on Desmond. Rather than break it down by group or era, I think it’s best if we just follow the progression of the show. Forgive me if I leave any thing out or miss a few details or it gets hard to follow. Like I said, it was a very busy show.

The episode opens with Sayid, Desmond, and Frank on the Helicopter. Frank is carefully trying to follow the heading he was provided with. While Sayid and Desmond puzzle over why Penny’s picture was found with Naomi. The Helicopter enters a storm and suddenly Desmond is time traveling again.

Desmond finds himself back in the army shortly after his breakup with Penny. Then he’s back in the Helicopter, but he’s forgotten who Sayid is. And… Title Sequence.

We rejoin the show back at the beach and they’re still wondering why they haven’t heard from the Helicoptering crew and it’s been a whole day. Obviously the freighties know a few things the Losties don’t. Physicist Daniel Faraday reveals that there is a time shift between the island and the rest of the world. Now that’s a big reveal, if its true.

The helicopter makes it back to freighter and some of the boat’s crew meets the helicopter with Desmond still freaking out. His time travel has thrown him off somehow, he doesn’t remember when or where he is. Somehow they forget about Naomi’s body. She’s there on the Helicopter, but they just forget about it for the rest of the episode. Odd.

Now Desmond is back in army training and trying to figure out why he’s feeling so crazy.

Back on the ship again and crew members Kingly and Omar from Vegas and Florida (interesting details there) take Desmond down to the sick bay and lock him in with assurances the doctor will be down to check him out. Desmond protests and bangs on the door when he hears another voice. The voice is a creepy looking dude who is strapped down to a bed. Creepy Dude asks Desmond “Hey, It’s happening to you too?”

Back on the freighter deck, Sayid confronts Frank. Sayid also notices the time shift, since it was dusk when the took off, but daytime when they landed on the freighter and they only flew 40 miles. Sayid and Frank exchange gun for phone and Sayid calls Jack. The call let’s the beachies know that something happened to Desmond. Again, Faraday looks like he expected that and he makes another reveal that sometimes something happens to people coming to or leaving the island.

Back on the boat, Creepy Guy tells Desmond he was just on a ferris wheel. Dr. Ray enters and Creepy Guy tries to convince him that “it” is happening to Desmond too. Dr. Ray gives Creepy Guy a shot to calm him down (aka, make him pass out). Dr Ray then begins an examination of Desmond, beginning with the eyes, and asks him to tell him the last thing he remembers and…

We’re back at the Army base. Desmond is calling Penny. She doesn’t sound very happy to hear from him even though he’s asking for help. To her he’s just left her and joined the army.

Back in sick bay, Faraday gets on the phone with Desmond and asks him “What year he thinks it is”…to Desmond it’s 1996. Faraday then asks Desmond to do something weird next time he’s back in 1996 instead of on the boat. He wants Desmond to catch a train to Oxford and look Faraday up at Queens College Physics Department.

Faraday gives Desmond some specific and useful knowledge about settings for a machine that will convince his 1996 self that Desmond is really from the future. He tries to give him one more piece of data, but the boat guys break in and take the phone away.

Now Desmond is back in 1996 and dutifully heads to Oxford to find Faraday. Faraday thinks his co-workers are tricking him, but Desmond pulls out the numbers and the name Eloise which seems to convince Faraday he’s for real.

Faraday’s machine appears to involve radiation and a rat named Eloise in a maze. The machine will ‘unstick Eloise in time’. Whatever Eloise does impresses Faraday. The rat runs the maze even though she won’t be taught the maze for an hour.

Faraday gets to work solving the problem and ignores Desmond until Desmond mentions the little fact that in the future they were both on an island. That seems to get Faraday’s attention.

Back on the freighter again we find out Creepy Guy is George Mckowski (sp). Apparently he was the communications guy on the freighter before he started his time travel. He kept
getting calls for a Desmond that he was told not to answer. The calls all came from the same person… Desmond’s girlfriend, Penelope Widmore.

Desmond wakes up back in 1996 and was out for 75 minutes of 1996 time. Apparently the effects are getting exponentially worse. As proof, Desmond notices Eloise died while he was out. Meanwhile Faraday is working on some figures attempting to solve the time paradox. Faraday tells Desmond he needs an anchor, a constant to prevent the same thing that happened to Eloise from happening to him. The Constant would be something that exists in both 1996 and the future. So Desmond calls Penny, but she’s changed her number.

Desmond is back on the freighter and tells Sayid he needs to call Penny. But Creepy Guy… er George lets them know the equipment has been sabotaged. But says he can get them to it if Sayid can fix it. The door to the sick bay has been mysteriously unlocked by a ‘friend’. Is that Ben’s man on the ship? We don’t find out.

Suddenly its 1996 again and Desmond sets off to find Penny. Somehow he knows he’ll find help at an auction where a painting and the first mate’s journal for “the Black Rock” ship is up for auction. That’s the same ship that landlocked on the island. Charles Widmore wins the auction (me thinks he knows more about the Island than he’s letting on). Desmond tries to convince Widmore to get him in contact with Penny. It works and Widmore gives Desmond Penny’s address, but insists that Penny is the one upset at Desmond, not him.

But Desmond is back to the future and George leads them to the communication room. George explains how he got affected. The freighter was anchored waiting for orders. Bored out of their skulls, George and another guy took out the ships tender, but they went crazy and the other guy ended up dead. Very shortly George (after a few melodramatic moments of brain seizure) joins his friend and Eloise. Sayid says he can fix the radio, but Desmond needs to remember Penny’s number.

Desmond realizes it really is 2004, Christmas Eve in fact according to Sayid, and also realizes that his own brain is about to pull an Eloise when his nose starts to bleed. Not a good sign. Interestingly the boat is still chronologically sync’d with the rest of the world. The time shift appears to be related to radiation associated with the island. Which is why when Desmond blew up the hatch, he started to experience flash-forwards and flashbacks. Well, that answers that question.

Back in 1996 Desmond is still in the bathroom but quickly begins searching for Penny’s address. He finds her, but she’s committed to a clean break. Desmond pleads his case and she lets him in. He promises to leave and never contact her for 8 years until Christmas Eve 2004. But she has to promise to keep the phone number and be there in 2004. She gives him the number and sends him away.

Back in 2004 Sayid works his magic on the communications equipment, he’s a handy guy to have around – where is he when my internet goes down, and Desmond ‘remembers’ the number. After a few rings, Penny picks up. They connect and we get a very sappy moment as Desmond and Penny proclaim their love and promise to find each other. Penny says she’s been looking for him for three years. The phone dies, but apparently it was enough, as Desmond’s bleeding stopped and his Eloise moment averted.

As the episode ends, Daniel Faraday is on the beach reading his diary when he comes across an entry that says “If Anything Goes Wrong – Desmond Hume Will Be My Constant”.

Another amazing episode. I haven’t been disappointed by a Desmond centric episode yet and this one was no exception. In the end LOST may be the story of how Desmond and Penelope were lost and then found and I’d be happy. I’m so happy the writer’s strike is over and we’ll get at least a few new episodes this year. Woo Hoo!

3 thoughts on “LOST – The Constant”

  1. I loved the episode, but I’m a sucker for a well-done time travel story. One of my all-time faves is “Peggy Sue Got Married,” and, by some strange coincidence, that DVD surfaced this morning as I straightened up my living room. When I picked the DVD case up to put on the shelf, the idea hit me that Desmond’s conscience bouncing around in time is kinda like Peggy Sue’s experience.

    As John pointed out in Twitter, though, Desmond’s story seems to not alter time at all (which one is led to believe Peggy Sue’s experience did because that’s the only way to explain the book dedication). Desmond and Daniel and Penny are all in one unchanging timeline.

    Of course, if Desmond’s time travel CAN’T change the future, as Daniel explained in the 90s over in Oxford, how did he keep altering Charlie’s future?

    As you can see, I’m one of those LOST suckers who is happy when episodes give us more questions that they do answers.

  2. Wow! That episode seriously messed with my head – I loved it! I can’t wait to see how this season pans out as the story line seems so much more complicated than any of the previous seasons…

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